Bishop Allen

The Broken String | Dead Oceans
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 14, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars

Last year, this quirky Brooklyn-based indie-pop combo released a new EP every month, tapping into the giddy workaholism that’s propelled fellow New York nerds They Might Be Giants and the Magnetic Fields. The Broken String, Bishop Allen’s second long-player, collects the best of those EP tracks, along with several new tunes; the result bounces all over the place, from zippy new-wave rave-ups to tinkly twee-pop lullabies to handsome folk-rock jams with trippy guitar sounds. (Given the group’s fondness for jaunty tempos, bounciness might be The Broken String’s defining characteristic.) Clever songsmiths with a respect for the Brill Building ways of yore, principals Justin Rice and Christian Rudder dress their material in whatever costume seems best suited to their wry slice-of-life vignettes. My favorite here is “The Chinatown Bus,” which picks up little scraps of musical detail — mariachi trumpet, marching-band drums, pretty female backing vocals — as it proceeds from beginning to end. It’s like a ride within a ride.

Bishop Allen + Page France + The Teeth | Middle East downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | August 17 | 617.864.EAST

Related: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Get Scarce, 2008 Listravaganza!, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , The Magnetic Fields, They Might Be Giants, Justin Rice,  More more >
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